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What if I told you that there’s more than Myriam Klink and Jad Khalife’s music video that should have earned your outrage over the past few days?
Right at the heel of his César win for Best Original Score, Lebanese trumpeter and composter Ibrahim Maalouf has found himself in quite the trouble as news about “sexual interference” with a 14 year old girl, dating from a couple of years ago, surfaced.
The difference between sexual “interference” and “assault” is that the former involves the minor’s consent whereas the latter does not. In the details of Ibrahim Maalouf’s horrible sexual misconduct with the 14 year old teenager is that, while the girl was shadowing Maalouf through one of his album prep sessions, the pair exchanged a kiss. After the girl went home, Maalouf texted her asking for a nude, which she did not provide.
Maalouf calls it one of his biggest regrets, but that means nothing for the 14 year old girl who’s currently in a “complicated psychological state” especially given her admiration for Maalouf and how he took advantage of that.
And yet, despite how sickening Ibrahim Maalouf’s act was, almost no one in Lebanon gave his wrong-doing the scrutiny they’ve handed Klink, despite his behavior being much more dangerous: while she pranced around in a music video, she technically did not hurt anyone. He actually inappropriately sexually took advantage of a 14 year old girl.
Isn’t that, though, how we – as a country – have become used to handling sex? We blame women and forget that men have as much a role. We never realize how lenient we are towards the sexual behavior of men, and, conversely, the level of scrutiny we subject our women to.
This hasn’t been as clear as when you compare how Lebanon handled the two “sex scandals” that have affected two of its current figures: the model Myriam Klink and the musician Ibrahim Maalouf.
I’ve made it a conscious effort, in my blog posts about Klink’s video, to mention her name in conjunction with Jad Khalife’s because they’re both as involved in that “song” especially that few on my social media timelines were doing that. The discussion, elsewhere, even in the search engine terms, was that it was just Myriam Klink. In fact, it’s ironic that a song written by a man, composed by a man who stole it from another man, and directed in a music video by another man, as well as featuring a male singer, would have none of those people face any legal repercussions. But it’s Myriam Klink who was summoned for a meeting with authorities today, as her co-star did the press circuit announcing his goal from “Goal” was to get people talking about him.
On the other hand, the extent of attention given to Maalouf’s case was an article in L’Orient-Le Jour that didn’t even take a stance regarding what he did, merely ending up as a news article reported with the help of AFP. In fact, the moral outrage of many towards Klink was that she had a child in her music video. Ibrahim Maalouf literally did more to a child than just have them appear in a music video, and yet here we are.
Let’s not pretend it’s because his case didn’t receive the media attention it requires that we’re not giving it the focus it deserves. Media attention stems from our culture as society, and we are geared culturally towards always finding excuses for men for their behavior while crucifying women. How many, reading that Maalouf’s sexual misconduct took place two years ago, started to come up with all possible conspiracy theories as to why he was being investigated now, after his César win? Or with all kinds of excuses ranging from the girl giving consent to the kiss to 14 year olds acting older than they are, etc? But she’s still 14 and he’s 36 and nothing can excuse that.
How many in Lebanon, and in Arab society as a whole, are more willing to give successful men, like Maalouf, a break or even come up with an excuse for their behavior, but wouldn’t afford the same prerogative to the second sex? This isn’t to say that such behaviors need excuses. On the contrary, what we should do more is hold everyone as accountable and not put some people – like Maalouf – on a pedestal, while we walk all over others who happen to be women because it’s easier, and because it’s the “in” thing to do.
Our women deserve more than this.
Im sorry dude but these two things are really not the same. Maalouf kissed a 14 year old girl with her consent. He went extremely overboard by asking for intimate shots, she turned him down. He regrets it. Maalouf produces amazing music and contributes so much to the cultural gaps that divide the east and the west. I dont know what this girl looked like at the time, but 14 year old girls sometimes do look older than their age.
Meanwhile on the other hand Klink and Khalifeh were playing touch my poonani in front of a 6 year old girl with the whole video (costumes and makeup) being framed in a child like manner. Klink intended to create an outrage, just like Le Pen did when she refused to put a scarf on. It is planned for publicity and for maximum damage. Maalouf’s act, though morally questionable and indeed illegal, was not meant to create chaos or publicity. He will go through the legal process, like he should, in a country with a proper legal system, unlike ours, where he will be tried. Klink on the other hand will not even be trialled. She will be “questioned” by a horny police officer as a PR stunt by the government…. It is not the same in my books.
Plus sometime stories are manipulated by the media to make it look as if he raped that 14 year old, although he did not.
Media – especially Lebanese ones that spoke about it – were very curt and specific into making him look as innocent as possible, so please spare me the bullshit.
Maalouf, a 36 year old, kissed and asked a 14 year old girl for nudes before she was even legally allowed to give the age of consent. It wasn’t even Klink’s song nor video and yet here’s everyone saying it is, and here she is being the one to go to trial when it’s not even her song to begin with. And yeah, I daresay that actually kissing a 14 year old and asking her for nudes is not the same as having a child be in a trashy music video. The former is much worse, than the latter.
i wonder why the story surfaced 3 years later? umm
It didn’t surface 3 years ago. He was interrogated about it when it happened and it just made it to the media. Refer to the part where I said people like you will start to come up with all kinds of conspiracy theories. 🙂
I’ve noticed that your language is very aggressive, you always attack people with words like “people like you” and “bullshit” and the many negative BULLSHIT you say on ur social media. Quite being aggressive to your readers, we are respecting your opinion, you better respect others, otherwise you will start loosing followers. Too much hate in you, your frustrated, and it shows.
Now, back to the subject, what I meant is that the parents decided to go to court only now, when he got kinda famous. Plus read what you wrote, you said “it didn’t surface 3 years ago”, i didn’t say that, what I said is that “it surfaced 3 years later”. Smoke a J and chill bro, dont hate, only the unloved and the unnatural hate.
Complete bullshit, this isn’t even worth mentioning on any news media. The guy only kissed her with her consent and he is being prosecuted so calm the fuck down and start looking for something more important than sexual stuff to make your blog popular.
This 36 year old man kissed a 14 year old girl before she was even legally allowed to give consent and then asked her for nudes. I don’t need Maalouf nor sex to make “make [my] blog popular,” but thank you for your concern. You, on the other hand, need to get your misogyny checked.
I can’t believe some are defending his disgusting behavior. You can be the Lebanese Einstein for all i care .. It’s never okay to ask a 14 year old girl for nudes.
Pls Wait then judge Ibrahim Maalouf …..ur going too fast …….
la wallaw he has to make a story out of it so that people can talk about him (attention ho) and the collateral damage is ruining a person’s career never mind his life.
People are defending him because until now he gave a good reputation for lebanon. Salma Hayek could rape babies and still be a national hero ( even thought she’s mexican)
Excellent article! Pretty much sums up all the toxic beliefs that permeate our society… and some continue to defend him… it truly beggars belief!!